Immerse yourself in history

5 May
Crafts of the Past will take you back to the 19th century through the handiwork of local artisans. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Crafts of the Past will take you back to the 19th century through the handiwork of local artisans. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Fort Nisqually is offering a fascinating season-long series called ‘Crafts from the Past’.  Each weekend until the end of September the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum presents artisans from diverse skill sets who will show you how pioneers made things.  The setting puts you back in time and the period costumes of artisans further sets the feeling that you have stepped back into days long past.

Fort Nisqually invites visitors to step back in time. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Fort Nisqually invites visitors to step back in time. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

The minute I stepped out of my car at Ft. Nisqually, on the bluff above the Narrows Passage, there were eagles chattering in their hollow shrill stutter. A raven bellowed in a deep clatter nearby. Inside the fort was a world only imagined from seeing movies or reading stories. There, artisans were demonstrating handiwork from the 1800s such as iron forging. But my purpose was to see the current week’s Crafts of the Past presentation, a combination of gun smithing and silver inlay with artist Steve Baima.

Artisans provide samples of hand-crafted work to help illustrate their process. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Artisans provide samples of hand-crafted work to help illustrate their process. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

A very enthusiastic Baima, dressed in hand-made period clothing, explained how settlers, during the agrarian culture of the 1700s, would spend their winters creating such things as rifles, to be sold later.  As competition grew so did the artistry of the pieces. Examples were ready on hand to show interested participants.

COMING UP

Crafts of the Past is just getting started. Some of the other talents to be presented this year include: “sheep to shawl”, basket weaving, illustrating, beadwork, broom making, wood-turning, cheese making, banjo making, textile arts, bookbinding, and much more.

What: Crafts of the Past – hands-on presentations by artisan demonstrating crafts of the past
Where: Ft. Nisqually, in Point Defiance Park, 5400 N. Pearl St.
When: Every weekend until the end of September
Cost: Included with admission (adults $5, youth 4-18 $4)
More information: www.fortnisquallyfoundation.org, (253)591-5339

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support this event through Arts Projects funding.

____________________________________________________________

Dane Gregory Meyer PhotographyThis review was written by Tacoma Arts Commission member Dane Meyer. Dane has been a professional photographer for over 25 years and owns Dane Gregory Meyer Photography. He has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2009 in a desire to give back to the community and support the arts as an economic engine and core for Tacoma.

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